John Muir


John Muir


[Joseph] Le Conte


sheltered place. Well, I had not run four miles ere I found all that I sought & you might have heard a shout in Oakland This glacier was about 12 miles in length by about 5 or 6 ms in width - of the depth I have no satisfactory data, Its course was nearly North & South uniting with the summit glaciers in the valley opposite Hutchings hotel It headed on the Tuolumne divide. The El Capitan Mountain was its western bank & that spur from the Hoffman range wh the Mono trail begins to ascend at the ford of Yosemite Creek must have formed its eastern bank. Perhaps this glacier was not born so early as those of the summits. & I am sure that it died long before they were driven from the canons Tenaya & Nevada. I followed the stream to the snow of the west end of the Hoffman range & every where found moraines leveled & washed by water currents, & formed into meadow strips or sandy flats with the larger boulders rising above the surface Yrs Cordially John Muir



Yosemite July 10th

Dear Le Conte

I am going to start in a few days for the region that we last year visited in company. I wish that I could have the profit & pleasure of your company this year also. I will spend a few days upon Mt Hoffman & a week about the Mt Dana region. Will then cross to the Mono basin to examine the lavas etc. I still hold to my first impressions concerning the present condition of that wonderful volcanic cone. but will careful- ly reconsider the question in connection with your [1] 00545

objections, & report A week ago I made a discovery wh is of great interest to me & doubtless will be to you. Two yrs ago when I just crossed the basin of Yosemite Creek I observed what appeared to me as a portion of a moraine leveled & changed by water. About a month ago I was upon Mt. Hoffman & discovered the basin of a small tributary glacier which joined the Dana glacier a mile or two this side of Lake Tenaya On my return to the valley I crossed the Yosemite creek & discovered still more satisfactory indications of a glacier wh must have filled the Main Yo- semite creek basin flowing at right angles to the later

& larger ones of the summits Now there is a deep canon on the left side of the Yo Sem' falls that has compelled me to think to it for more than a year & I could not account for it in any other way than by supposing the existence of a glacier in the basin above as one of the conditions. Last Sabbath the big truth came to the birth. I ran out of the valley by Indian Canon & around to the top of the falls, - said my prayers in the irised spray, & after baptism & the eating of a piece of bread started northward for the head waters of the stream full of faith, confident that some- where I should find positive evidence of my missing glacier, perhaps in the higher portions of its channel where it would linger longest, or where it had been compelled to wedge through some narrow place, or perhaps some moraine might still exist in some [3]




Original letter dimensions: 20 x 26.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 02, Image 0479

Copyright Statement

The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust. To purchase copies of images and/or obtain permission to publish or exhibit them, see

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University of the Pacific Library Holt-Atherton Special Collections. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.

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Muir-Hanna Trust

Copyright Date



2 pages



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